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This article is about Prakticar lenses for Praktica SLR cameras of the B-series.

The end of the 1970ies was commonly also the end of the "universal" M42 screw mount, camera manufacturers which used that mount so far have replaced it by a more modern and convenient bayonet mount. So, the VEB Pentacon, the producer of the Praktica cameras, introduced a new bayonet mount in 1979, but unlike others they kept making cameras with M42-mount until 1989 as a cheap alternative. The first camera which was equipped with the new lens mount was the Praktica B 200, presented at the spring fair in Leipzig, and the new, corresponding lenses were named Prakticar. The new lens mount is just called Praktica bayonet or PB-mount and it is a design by Pentacon itself. There was the idea to use an existing Japanese lens mount, but it failed due to license fees [1]. One feature of the PB-mount is the electronic transmission of the set f-stop from the lens to the camera body, therefore three contacts integrated in the bayonet are necessary. The system is called EDC, for "electronic diaphragm control". The electronic transmission of the f-stop was not new to Pentacon, in fact they presented it already in 1969 with the Praktica LLC, implemented in an M42-mount.

At first nine prime lenses were available for the new lens mount. They were produced by VEB Pentacon (in particular: VEB Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz, incorporated in Pentacon) and VEB Carl Zeiss Jena. It suggests itself that the lens design of the previous M42-lenses was taken and only the lens mount and the appearance were remade, but that is not entirely true: the Prakticar 2.8/28 e.g. is a redesigned Pentacon 2.8/29, and other redesigned and completely new designed lenses followed. By and by the line-up of lenses increased, also with the support of Japanese and Korean companies. That assistance was necessary to offer zoom lenses, which became more and more popular in those days. Both, Pentacon and CZJ weren't able to produce them in the early 1980ies. In 1985 the VEB Pentacon was incorporated into the VEB Carl Zeiss Jena, which led to the fact that some lenses produced by Pentacon were labeled with "Carl Zeiss Jena P". With the German reunification in 1990 the situation changed completely. The VEB CZJ was transformed into a GmbH (Ltd. company) and ceased the production of Prakticar lenses, and Pentacon was liquidated. A camera producing part of Pentacon was taken over by Schneider and named "Jos. Schneider Feinwerktechnik GmbH & Co. KG", they produced the Praktica B-series until 2001. The lens producing part, that means VEB Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz, restarted as "Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz GmbH", now an independent company. Their lenses are labeled with "Meyer-Optik Made in Germany". It turned out, that Meyer was not competitive, so it was closed already in 1991.

Prakticar branded lenses were also offered by companies from far east, namely Sigma, Cosina and Samyang, and of course there are lenses from suppliers like Exakta, Beroflex, Vivitar etc. which are not labeled with Prakticar. Tamron provided an Adaptall-II adapter for the Praktica bayonet.

Prakticar lenses by Carl Zeiss Jena

Name E/G NFD FT GA B YoP Units Based on Note
Prakticar 1:2.8 f=20mm MC 9/8 0.2 67 22 6 79-91 8,780 Flektogon 2.8/20 MC
Prakticar 1:2.4 f=28mm MC 8/3 0.19 49 22 6 79-81 390 new design 1 floating element
Prakticar 1:2.4 f=35mm MC 6/6 0.22 49 22 6 79-88 24,530 Flektogon 2.4/35 MC
Prakticar 1.4/50 MC (type I) 7/6 0.36 52 16 6 80-83 12,654 redesigned Pancolar 1.4/55 contains Thorium
Prakticar 1:1.4 f=50mm MC (type II) 7/6 0.4 52 16 6 84-90 13,840 redesigned Pancolar 1.4/55
Prakticar 1:1.8 f=50mm MC 6/5 0.35 49 16 6 79-83 24,040 Pancolar 1.8/50 MC
Prakticar 1:2.8 f=50mm MC 4/3 0.35 49 16 5 80-81 1,600 Tessar 2.8/50
Macro-Prakticar 1:2.8 f=55mm MC 6/5 0.25 49 22 6 81-90 7,308 new design macro 1:2
Prakticar 1.8/80 MC 6/5 0.65 52 16 6 79-90 4,740 Pancolar 1.8/80 MC
Prakticar 3.5/135 MC 4/3 1.0 49 22 6 80-88 29,520 Sonnar 3.5/135 MC
Prakticar 2.8/200 MC 6/4 2.0 72 22 6 80-?? 1.090 Sonnar 2.8/200 MC
Prakticar 4/300 MC 6/5 4.0 72 32 6 80-90 5,100 new design
Prakticar 5.6/1000 6 16.0 x 5.6 x 80,87 106 mirror, interchangeable mount
Vario-Prakticar 1:2.7-3.5 f=35-70mm MC 9/8 0.8 58 22 6 87-90 2,510 Vario-Pancolar 2.7-3.5/35-70 MC
Vario-Prakticar 4/80-200 MC 12/8 1.1 52 32 6 88-90 2,250 Vario-Sonnar 4/80-200 MC
E/G=elements/groups, NFD=nearest focus distance [m], FT=filter thread diameter [mm], GA=greatest aperture, B=number of blades, YoP=years of production
  • Due to the licensing right the name "Carl Zeiss" was only used in the GDR, socialistic countries and Great Britain. In other countries the lenses were labeled with "aus Jena" (from Jena) instead.
  • Lenses labeled with "Carl Zeiss Jena P" are not made by Carl Zeiss Jena but by Pentacon.
  • When the identification of the lens is written like, e.g. "1:1.4 f=50mm" it is located on the ring around the front lens. If it is like "1.4/50" it is written on the lens barrel from outside, or, in case of the mirror lens, on the attachment in the center of the front lens.

Prakticar lenses by Pentacon respectively Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz

From the start of the Praktica B Pentacon provided three classic prime lenses, the 2.8/28, the 1.8/50 and the 2.8/135. A fourth lens, a 4/200 was announced and exists as prototype and in price lists, but it wasn't available for purchase. In an update of the lens lineup a remarkable lens was introduced: the 2.4/50. Its optical design (4 elements in 4 groups) exists since 1968, ready to replace the Tessar, but that didn't happen until the early 1980ies and only as lens with PB-mount [2]. From the begin on that lens was produced by Întreprinderea Optică Română (IOR) in Romania. In the middle of the 1980ies the appearance of the lenses changed, metal parts like the f-stop ring were replaced by plastic parts, also the rubberization of the focus ring was dropped; the new versions were called "ratio". On some lenses also the nearest focus distance changed. After the German reunification, when the company became independent again, the lenses were branded with "Meyer-Optik" instead of "Pentacon". At the Photokina 1990 Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz presented its first and only zoom lens with the range from 35 to 70 mm. Because the company existed only for one year only 150 copies were made, 132 with PB-mount and 28 with M42-mount [3]. Praktica B cameras (by Schneider) were sold at least until the year 2000, as well as lenses branded with "Meyer-Optik", though the company was closed already in 1991. It is said, that at the end most of the lenses were made by IOR in Romania, like the 2.4/50, but it remains unexplained.

Name E/G NFD FT GA B YoP Units Based on Note
Prakticar 1:2.8 f=28mm MC 7/7 0.25 49 22 6 79- redesigned Pentacon Auto 2.8/29 (Orestegon)
Prakticar 1:1.8 f=50mm MC 6/4 0.33/0.45 49 16 6 79- Pentacon Auto 1.8/50 MC (Oreston)
Prakticar 1:2.4 f=50mm MC 4/4 0.6 49 16 6 151,000 new design
Prakticar 2.8/135 MC 5/4 1.7/1.5 55 22 6 79- Pentacon Auto 2.8/135 (Orestor)
Prakticar 4/200 MC prototype only
Prakticar 4/300 MC 5/4 3.6 95 22 Pentacon 4/300 (Orestegor) adapted Pentacon Six lens
Prakticar 5.6/500 MC 4/4 6.0 118 22 Pentacon 5.6/500 (Orestegor) adapted Pentacon Six lens
Meyer-Optik 3.5-4.8/35-70 8/7 0.8 49 22 5 91-92 132 new design
E/G=elements/groups, NFD=nearest focus distance [m], FT=filter thread diameter [mm], GA=greatest aperture, B=number of blades, YoP=years of production
  • When two nearest focus distances are given, the second one belongs to the "ratio"-version.

Prakticar lenses by Sigma

Sigma has worked together with the East German camera industry already before the appearing of the Praktica B, e.g. they provided lenses with electric contacts in M42 mount under the Pentacon name (e.g. Pentacon_3.5/39-80_electric). Sigma produced lenses with the Prakticar label, it is possible that the appearance of the lenses is customized to the East German ones, but they also sold lenses with PB-mount under their own name. One hint to identify Prakticar lenses made by Sigma is the use of "~" instead of "-" on some zoom lenses, like 2.8~3.5/28~50. However, there exist Prakticar labeled lenses with Sigma YS-mount, but that mount was already obsolete when the PB-mount was introduced.

Pentacon Prakticar PB 2.8/28 MC 7/6 0.22 52 22
Pentacon Prakticar PB 3.5/135 MC 5/5 1.4 52 22
Pentacon Prakticar 2.8-3.5/28-50 MC 0.5 52 22
Pentacon Prakticar PB 2.8-4/35-70 MC 0.5 52 22
Prakticar AF 35-70
Pentacon Prakticar PB 3.5-4.5/35-70 MC 0.5 52 22
Prakticar AF PB 4.5/55-200 MC 15/12 1.5 52 22
Pentacon Prakticar 3.5/70-150 MC 12/9 0.61 58 22
Pentacon Prakticar PB 4-5.6/70-210 MC 1.2 52 22
Pentacon Prakticar 4.5/100-200 MC 10/6 0.58 55 22
E/G=elements/groups, NFD=nearest focus distance [m], FT=filter thread diameter [mm], GA=greatest aperture

Prakticar lenses by Samyang

In the early 1990ies, when Carl Zeiss Jena as well as Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz didn't provided lenses for the Praktica B anymore, Samyang from Korea was found as subsequent producer. It is supposable, that the manufacturer of the camera bodies, Jos. Schneider Feinwerktechnik GmbH & Co KG, made that decision. All lenses bear a red Prakticar name, and were also available with M42-mount. The country of manufacture is not specified.

Prakticar MC Auto Zoom 1:4-4.5 f=18-28mm 14/11 0.5 72 22
Prakticar MC Auto Zoom 1:3.5-4.5 f=28-70mm 9/9 0.4 55 22
Prakticar MC Auto Zoom 1:4-5.6 f=28-200mm 16/13 2.5 67 22
Prakticar MC Auto Zoom 1:3.5-4.5 f=35-70mm 7/7 0.4 52 22
Prakticar MC Auto Zoom 1:4-5.6 f=70-210mm 12/10 1.5 52 22
Prakticar MC Auto Zoom 1:4.5-5.6 f=75-300mm 14/11 1.5 58 22
E/G=elements/groups, NFD=nearest focus distance [m], FT=filter thread diameter [mm], GA=greatest aperture

Prakticar lenses by Cosina

Prakticar Auto-Zoom 1:3.5-4.8 f=35-70mm Multi-Coated Macro 0.4 52 22 6
E/G=elements/groups, NFD=nearest focus distance [m], FT=filter thread diameter [mm], GA=greatest aperture, B=number of blades


  1. Herbert Blumtritt, "Geschichte der Dresdner Fotoindustrie", Lindemanns Verlag, 2001 zweite Auflage. ISBN 3-89506-212-x
  2. M. Kröger, Prakticar 2.4/50mm on
  3. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Prenzel, "Das erste Zoomobjektiv von Meyer-Optik Görlitz", in PhotoDeal #111 (IV 2020)


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